November 30, 2010

Tres Bon Brulee!

The Maine House is planning our holiday menus! Family will be arriving for the Christmas Holidays and already, they have requested two of Estelle's classics...Lemon Bars and Creme Brulee!
So, we thought......What would happen when you mix Lemon Bars with Creme Brulee? The best and most elegant dessert ever is born! This is a buttery rich shortbread crust which is then covered with a lemony and zesty filling...topped with a crunchy caramelized glaze. This is a keeper. I can't say enough about this recipe! 

Lemon Bar Brulee
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4-1/2 c. chopped pecans (depending on how much you like)

8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped

Lemon Layer
1 jar 11 oz. lemon curd

Brulee Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Fresh Raspberry Sauce
12 oz. frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar (more as needed)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together all purpose flour and sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and slightly golden. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice. Whip cream, and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread in pan over shortbread crust. Place in refrigerator until chilled throughout, approx. 30 minutes.
After cheesecake is set, top with lemon curd and smooth surface. (The lemon curd is an extremely thin layer but don't worry it has tons of flavor) Put back in refrigerator until ready to serve.
You can either use a brulee torch for the topping or follow these directions.
Preheat broiler. Press brown sugar through strainer over lemon curd to cover completely and evenly( I have found the more even you get it the better. It also helps to really pack it down with your hands so it is smooth. If you have any chunks sticking up they will burn)Watching closely, broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source until sugar bubbles and caramelizes, about 2 minutes.

For the raspberry sauce: Puree raspberries in blender with water until smooth. Strain into small saucepan, pressing puree through mesh. Whisk sugar and cornstarch into sauce. Cook all ingredients together over medium high heat until thickened and clear.
Remove from heat and add more sugar if necessary and set aside to cool slightly before serving. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on plate and a side of sweetened whipped cream.

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family
all wrapped up in each other". ~Burton Hillis

November 29, 2010

Christmas Scents!

The Maine House is beginning to look and smell alot like Christmas! We decided to begin by creating a fresh pomander bowl to welcome our family and friends as they arrive to celebrate the holiday season! We place this grand creation on top of our hallway sideboard. Ahhh...fresh orange, clove, cranberry and pine! Make this fragrant holiday arrangement with pomanders, pinecones, and holiday greens displayed on a transferware plate. Score patterns on the oranges with a citrus stripper or channel knife, make pilot holes with a small nail, then stud the oranges with whole cloves.

Estelle's Cranberry Orange Ring
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1‑1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
2 cups chopped mandarin orange slices
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup whole cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup tube pan; set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cloves in large bowl. Add orange peel; mix well. Set aside. Combine orange juice, mandarin orange bits,egg, oil, vanilla and orange extract in medium bowl. Beat until well blended. Add orange juice mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Gently fold in cranberries and pecans. Do not over mix.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes (35 to 40 minutes if using frozen cranberries) or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Estelle's drizzles a warm orange glaze over this cake ring by just mixing powdered sugar and orange juice.

Estelle's Breakfast Cranberry Orange Ring
1 pack Cranberry-orange relish ,well drained
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
2 packs Pillsbury crescent rolls
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine relish and cinnamon in Batter Bowl. Separate dough into triangles; spread each with 1 tsp relish mixture. Roll up triangles and curve each to form a crescent. Place 8 crescents end to end in circle on baking sheet. Form an inner circle using 5 crescents; place the remaining 3 crescents in the center to form a circle. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Combine glaze ingredients in small bowl. Drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Hot Cranberry Cinnamon Cider
3 quarts unsweetened apple juice or cider
1 quart cranberry juice
2 to 3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (3 1/2 inches)
 Combine the apple juice, cranberry juice, cloves, and cinnamon stick in a large kettle; bring to a boil.
 Boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cloves and cinnamon stick before serving. Serve warm.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
 and behold,
 everything is softer and more beautiful."
Norman Vincent Peale

November 26, 2010

Lovely the Second Time Around!

While the frost is still on the pumpkin at The Maine House......

We are decorating & singing.....

'O ....Christmas..... Tree.....
Wait a minute! We just finished our Thanksgiving dinner! Christmas carols already? Indeed.....not a minute to waste of enjoying and celebrating the season! So, finish up the turkey and cranberries, put on your Christmas music and raise your voices to heaven! Make your house cozy with the divine smells of cinnamon, citrus, spice and evergreens!

Estelle's Holiday Potpourri
Sliced oranges
Sliced Apples 
Sliced Lemons
Bay leaves
Whole cloves
Cinnamon sticks
In a slow-cooker, combine fruit to preferences of smell. Cover in water. Top with bay leaves, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Leave slow-cooker on low! Heaven!!

These recipes will hopefully inspire you to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers for Sunday Supper. They are easy and rather healthy. These are pretty good at ending the turkey, cranberries and apples, yet still providing a beautiful dinner for your loved ones!

Healthy Nine Bean-Turkey Soup
2 cups Nine Bean Soup Mix
1 quarts water
2 cups chopped left-over turkey
1 bunch fresh kale
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 chicken bouillion cube
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies

Place soup mix in a dutch oven and add enough water to cover. Place top on dutch oven and let stand for 30 minutes, allowing the bean mix to soak in the water. Drain any left over water.
Bring soup mix, along with the 2 quarts of water and next 7 ingredients to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmering for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in tomatoes and rotel tomatoes, then return to a boil. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until beans are tender. Serve with crusty and cheesy french bread!

Cheesey French Bread
 1 cup mozzarella cheese
 4 cups  cheddar cheese
 a couple dashes of Italian seasoning
 3 ounces of mayonnaise
 3 minced garlic cloves
4 ounces of butter
1 loaf of Italian or French bread

 Mix the cheeses and mayo in a bowl.
 Add the butter (softened), seasonings, and garlic to a bowl and mix well.
 Combine the cheese mixture with the butter mixture.
Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise and spread the mixture on the inside of both bread loaf halves.
 Bake bread in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 8-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is looking a little golden brown.

Apple Cranberry Crunch
3 cups diced peeled apples
2 cups cranberries

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice 
1/4 cup butter melted 
1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Combine apples, cranberries, sugar and juice in medium bowl and mix well.
Spoon into a lightly greased baking dish.Combine butter, oats, brown sugar, flour and pecans then mix well.
Spoon evenly over apple cranberry mixture and bake 45 minutes.

Linus van Pelt: What are you going to do on Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: My mother and Dad, and Sally and I are all going to my grandmother's for dinner.
Sally Brown: Why don't you come along, Linus? We can hold hands under the table.
Linus van Pelt: Blah.


November 20, 2010

The Welcoming!

The holidays are time of celebration, when you can gather your friends and family together to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. The Maine House is planning the "welcoming appetizer table!" Family looks forward to the holiday appetizers as much as the Thanksgiving feast, which we usually plan late in the day...around 4:00 pm....the gloaming of the day!

These are simply beautiful and delicious....ones that Estelle's has served for many years.

So...find your grandmother's crystal bowls and goblets.....and her crystal platter....surround these lovelies with harvest candles and enjoy your holiday!

Estelle's Southern Jezebel Sauce
1 jar (16 to 18 oz) pineapple preserves
1 jar (16 to 18 oz) apple jelly
1/2 cup horseradish
3 tablespoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill. This sauce is beautiful in little glass jars (check out Wal-Mart or Michaels for inexpensive little jars...)

Cranberry Jezebel Sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
12 ounces fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Fresh mint sprigs

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir well.
Bring to a boil over medium heat; add cranberries. Return to a boil, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon into a bowl; let cool to room temperature. Stir in horseradish and mustard; cover and chill. If you would like, garnish with fresh mint sprigs!

Marinated Cheese Appetizer
2 blocks (8 ounces each) white cheddar cheese
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup chopped roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Toasted sliced French bread or assorted crackers

Slice each block of cheddar cheese into twenty 1/4-in. slices. Cut each block of cream cheese into 18 slices; sandwich between cheddar slices, using a knife to spread evenly. Create four 6-in.-long blocks of cheese; place in a 13-in. x 9-in. dish.
In a small bowl, combine the roasted peppers, oil, vinegars, onions, herbs, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper; pour over cheese.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once. Drain excess marinade. Serve cheese with bread or crackers.

"Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."
 ~William Shakespeare

November 18, 2010

Lemon Loves!

The Maine House is anniversary! This is Estelle's favorite "go-to" cake for special birthdays and anniversaries. And the lemon easy-breezy!!

When I offered my husband a piece of this lemon cake after dinner one night, he said with a grin, This is incredible!!  Here it is....lemon white chocolate (the unexpected secret ingredient), and all. This is just the delicious sort of cake to serve on birthdays and special occasions like wedding anniversaries and baby christenings . Lemon curd is sandwiched between white chocolate layers and all is covered with a lemon—flavored white chocolate frosting. Be still my heart..................

Lemon White Chocolate Anniversary Cake
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup store-bought lemon curd (half of a 10-ounce jar)

Solid vegetable shortening for greasing the pans

Flour for dusting the pans

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside.
 Melt the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a small rubber spatula until it is smooth.
 Place the cake mix, water, oil, whole eggs, egg whites, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the slightly cooled white chocolate. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
 Bake the cakes until they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 28 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack, then invert again onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes more.

 Meanwhile, prepare the Lemony White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows).

 Place one cake layer, right side up, on a serving platter. Spread the top with the lemon curd. Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with frosting.
Place this cake, uncovered or in a cake saver, in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes. Then store it, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Anniversary Gift from Darling

Lemony White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 package 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

 Place the white chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until it is smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.

 Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and melted white chocolate, and blend on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Add the confectioners' sugar and blend on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute or more.

Lemon Cake Cookies
1 pkg. Lemon Supreme cake mix (Estelle's likes Duncan Hines)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice together. Dough will be very stiff.
Drop dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes.
While cookies are baking, make glaze: mix powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and lemon zest together in small bowl. Let cookies cool for 1 minute, then top with glaze

White Anniversary Roses from Darling

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get --
only with what you are expecting to give --
 which is everything." -- Katherine Hepburn

Happy Anniversary

November 17, 2010

Elegant Endings!

The Maine House keeps a bounty of beautiful books in the library. During the autumn of the year, I take out a favorite from The Mitford series.....I aspire to be able to cook like Puny and Louella and bake like Winnie and Esther!

"In Mitford, we take care of our own." This excerpt takes place at Thanksgiving....

"Line up and collect your baskets," hollered Esther Cunningham, "and hot foot it on outa' here! This is not a cold-cut dinner you're deliverin'." The delivery squad obediently queued up at the kitchen door. "If you could knock th' Baptists out of this deal," said Charlie Tucker, "we'd have somethin' left to go in these baskets.

 "It wasn't the Baptists who gobbled up the sure wasn't the Methodists cause they like fried chicken!" It was those dadgum Lutherans!" Everyone howled with laughter, including the Lutherans, who had personally observed the Episcopalians eating enough turkey to sink an oil freighter!"

Pumpkin Pudding Parfaits
1 (7 ounce) jar Marshmallow Fluff/Cream
1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons thawed frozen orange juice concentrate, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup crumbled gingersnap cookies

In a mixing  bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat marshmallow creme, cream cheese, and one tablespoon orange juice concentrate until smooth.
In a separate bowl, stir together pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the remaining 1 tablespoons orange juice concentrate. Fold in 1/4 cup of the cream cheese mixture until no white streaks remain.
Into each of four dessert or parfait glasses, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the remaining cream cheese mixture. Then spoon about 3 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture into each dessert glass. Repeat layers, ending with the pumpkin. Refrigerate until cold, at last 2 hours or up to 1 day.
Just before serving sprinkle each parfait with chopped pecans and a gingersnap cookie.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
1 Large can of Pumpkin
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 box Yellow Cake Mix with Pudding
1 Large can of evaporated milk
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled

Melt and cool butter first. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large mixing bowl. mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and cinnamon together. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top, then sprinkle your chopped pecans over entire cake. Pour melted butter over entire cake mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes. Top with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar. 

At Thanksgiving...Draw Close, Hold Hands.......
 Life is Short!
God is Good! 

We Toast the Harvest!

The Maine House always prepares a few special holiday drinks to welcome family on Thanksgiving day! Many times in the past years, Thanksgiving day was beautiful and everyone arrived, we took our mugs of mulled wine and made our way down to the gazebo as we watched grandchildren play, relax and share our memories, before the bustling of the dinner preparation began. Has this been the custom from long ago?

Can you envision very old days, when you enter the old town square and your senses are overwhelmed by the aromas floating in the autumn air of roasting chestnuts, spices of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice, roasting turkeys and chickens......a few facts on this custom.....

Mulled wine, variations of which are popular around the world, is wine, usually red, combined with spices and typically served warm. Nowadays, it is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Glühwein is popular in German-speaking countries and the region of Alsace in France.
 It is the traditional beverage offered and drunk on Weihnachtsmärkten. It is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, citrus and sugar. Fruit wines such as blueberry wine and cherry wine are rarely used instead of grape wine in Germany. Glühwein is drunk pure or "mit Schuss", which means there is rum or liqueur added. The French name is vin chaud (hot wine).

Glögg is the term for mulled wine in the Nordic countries; in Swedish and Icelandic: Glögg, Norwegian and Danish: Gløgg, Finnish and Estonian: Glögi). The main classic ingredients are red wine, sugar or syrup, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit or brandy.

And The British.........
A traditional recipe can be found in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management at paragraph 1961 on page 929 to 930 of the revised edition dated 1869: 1961.-TO MULL WINE.

INGREDIENTS.- To every pint of wine allow 1 large cupful of water, sugar and spice to taste.
Mode.-In making preparations like the above, it is very difficult to give the exact proportions of ingredients like sugar and spice, as what quantity might suit one person would be to another quite distasteful. Boil the spice in the water until the flavour is extracted, then add the wine and sugar, and bring the whole to the boiling-point, when serve with strips of crisp dry toast, or with biscuits. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace. Any kind of wine may be mulled, but port and claret are those usually selected for the purpose; and the latter requires a very large proportion of sugar. The vessel that the wine is boiled in must be delicately cleaned, and should be kept exclusively for the purpose. Small tin warmers may be purchased for a trifle, which are more suitable than saucepans, as, if the latter are not scrupulously clean, they spoil the wine, by imparting to it a very disagreeable flavour. These warmers should be used for no other purpose.

Estelle's Mulled Wine
2 naval oranges
1 fresh lemon, juice and zest
10 whole cloves
10 black peppercorns
2 cardamon pods
4 whole star anis
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 to 1 cup brown sugar (to taste)
2 (750 ml) bottles of dry red wine (not cabernet which is too tannic)
3/4 cup brandy

Zest the citrus and squeeze into a large pot. Add all remaining ingredients stirring until the sugar is dissolved over low to medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. This will reduce in volume. Pour the mulled wine through a fine sieve into tempered glass coffee mugs.

Hot Buttered Apple Rum Cider
8 cups apple cider
1/3 cup honey
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
peel of one lemon, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups rum

In a large pot heat apple cider, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and lemon peel. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully pour hot liquid through a fine sieve, removing spices and lemon peel. Return liquid to pot and stir in rum.To serve, ladle warm drink into cups.
Top each with about ½ teaspoon of butter.

"So once in every year we throng
Upon a day apart,
To praise the Lord with feast and song
In thankfulness of heart."
~Arthur Guiterman, The First Thanksgiving

November 16, 2010

Selected Sides!

Celebration of Abundance....The Maine House loves the opulence of the Thanksgiving Table!
Opulent..defined as lavish, sumptuous, deluxe, abundant and "swank!"

Don’t be afraid to go overboard on your formal Thanksgiving table. Autumnal tones are reflected in the lavish floral arrangement, which is set against the Smith family Duncan Phyfe dining table. 
Selecting Miss Helen's formal Imari China by Royal Crown Derby sets the tone for a grand occasion, but scattered miniature pumpkins, kumquats, and loosely arranged flowers keep the mood easy.

Surprise your loved ones with your best and most creative design for the bounty of the Thanksgiving table..the ideas can be endless once you choose your one inspiration piece! Estelle's chose our pheasant....the setting just evolved from there...blessings!

Estelle's Company Potato Casserole
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped red and green sweet pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 10-3/4-ounce cans condensed cream of celery soup
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups sliced, peeled Yukon gold potatoes
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup soft bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Green and/or red sweet pepper rings (optional)

 Cook onion, chopped sweet pepper, and garlic in 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a large saucepan about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in soup, milk, and black pepper. Heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly.
 Layer half of the potatoes in a greased 3-quart oval or rectangular baking dish. Cover with half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle with half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese. Layer remaining potatoes and soup mixture atop. Cover dish with foil.
 Bake in a 325 degree F. oven for 1-1/2 hours or until nearly tender. Uncover and sprinkle with a mixture of bread crumbs, the remaining Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and crumbs are golden. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish top with sweet pepper rings, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

Creamy Baked  Potato Casserole
8 medium potatoes (about 2 1/2 to 3 lb. total), peeled and cut into equal chunks
1 cup Carnation evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
sliced green onions (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 8-inch-square baking dish.
LAYER 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion, 1/2 bacon and 1/2 cheese in prepared baking dish; repeat layers. Combine evaporated milk, egg and seasoned salt in small bowl. Pour evenly over potato mixture; cover.
BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 5 minutes. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

"For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson